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“Melonious Thonk”

“Melonious Thonk”

Each night when Wrong is Right

our darling Thelonious Monk


Nellie’s favorite

“Melonious Thonk”

played his Keys like magic

to make Monk’s Melodious


by Sierre Monk


Although we all know and love his philosophies and ideologies, Thelonious Monk’s unique sense of humor should be discussed more often.


With an infectious smile and laconic wit, he’d relentlessly joke and stir the pot, especially with family members.


According to Monk’s Niece, Evelyn ‘Wee Tee’ Smith, he would tease and troll, “and call you out in front of everyone.”


But Nellie was one of the few who would give Monk a taste of his own medicine. She knew exactly how to one-up him. Poke fun at his name.


Below is an excerpt from a conversation between Sierre and her Aunt Wee Tee:

Sierre: Was it Melodious Funk or Melodious Thunk?


Wee Tee: Melonious Thonk. She was switching the first letters. But writing it, we have to add the H for correct pronunciation purposes.


Sierre: So in context, she was basically teasing him/being playful?


Wee Tee: Exactly. Or when he was exposing someone for one reason or another, which he did quite often. Aunt Nellie would be embarrassed for the person. And that’s what she’d say.


“Oh, Melonious Thonk!” she’d call out, in a sing-songy voice. His teasing would stop and a shy smile would appear. Then big laughter had by all.

And just like that, Nellie’s perfectly timed humor softened Monk’s blunt jibs and most certainly amused those who were lucky enough to witness their special dynamic. With such clever wordplay on a name as compelling as Thelonious Monk, you’d be laughing too.